BSIP, LAURENT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP, LAURENT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Curved spine consultation. Doctor using a chart to show an adolescent patient the condition he is suffering (scoliosis). Scoliosis, the sideways curvature of the spine, usually starts in childhood, becoming progressively worse until growth stops. Usually, another part of the spine bends in an opposite direction to compensate, resulting in an S-shape. The cause of scoliosis is often unknown. If the curvature is slight the spine may be left untreated. Severe or progressive scoliosis may be treated by immobilisation of the spine followed by surgery to fuse affected bones into a straight line.
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